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Hurricane Safety

Learn how to keep your home and family safe during a hurricane or typhoon.

About


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Need Help Now?

If you are in immediate need of help, please contact your local Red Cross or find an open shelter.

Hurricanes are strong storms that can be life-threatening as well as cause serious hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes. Learn what to do to keep your loved ones safe!

Hurricane or Typhoon?

They are the same type of storm – the name changes based on where they occur. Learn about these storms and how they are measured.

  • Download Your Hurricane Safety Checklist
  • Prepare for Hurricanes


    Prepare in Advance
    Be sure you’re Red Cross Ready. That means:
  • Assembling an emergency preparedness kit.
  • Creating a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.
  • Staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans.
  • Educating your family on how to use the Safe and Well website.
  • emergency app icon
    Download the FREE Emergency App

    Find our Emergency App in the Apple Store or Google Play

    Aplicación de Emergencias - ahora disponible en español también!

    • Talk with your family about what to do if a hurricane strikes. Discussing hurricanes ahead of time helps reduce fear, particularly for younger children.
    • Ensure that every member of your family carries a Safe and Well wallet card.
    • Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts:
    • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box. You may need quick, easy access to these documents. Keep them in a safe place less likely to be damaged if a hurricane causes flooding. Take pictures on a phone and keep copies of important documents and files on a flashdrive that you can carry with you on your house or car keys.
  • Prepare a pet emergency kit for your companion animals.
  • Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.
  • Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.
  • Remember that standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get information at www.FloodSmart.gov.
  • Right Before:
  • Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations. Find a local emergency shelter.
  • Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or other medical supplies. Keep it nearby.
  • Fill plastic bottles with clean water for drinking.
  • Fill bathtubs and sinks with water for flushing the toilet or washing the floor or clothing.
  • Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind, such as bicycles and patio furniture.
  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities to prevent damage to your home or within the community. If you shut your gas off, a professional is required to turn it back on.
  • Unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage from power surges that may occur.
  • Consider a precautionary evacuation of your animals, especially any large or numerous animals. Waiting until the last minute could be fatal for them and dangerous for you.
  • Where possible, move livestock to higher ground. If using a horse or other trailer to evacuate your animals, move sooner rather than later.
  • Bring your companion animals indoors and maintain direct control of them. Be sure that your pet emergency kit is ready to go in case of evacuation.
  • During


    Staying Safe During a Hurricane
  • Stay indoors.
  • Don’t walk on beaches, riverbanks or in flood waters.
  • Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Do NOT use candles.
  • Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
  • Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
  • Staying Safe Outdoors
  • Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
  • If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • Don't walk on beaches or riverbanks.
  • Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
  • Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
  • Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. can become filled with water.
  • Recovery


    After a Hurricane
  • Let friends and family know you’re safe - Register yourself as safe on the Safe and Well website
  • If evacuated, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding.
  • Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Promote emotional recovery by following these tips.
  • Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
  • Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
  • Help people who require additional assistance—infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.
  • Stay out of any building that has water around it.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to the power company.
  • Follow these tips for inspecting your home’s structure and utilities & systems after a hurricane.
  • Take pictures of home damage, both of the buildings and its contents, for insurance purposes.
    • Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots, and be cautious when cleaning up.
    • Learn more about how to clean up after a hurricane, including the supplies you’ll need, how to deal with contaminated food and water, and how to repair water damage.
    • Don’t just repair your home, build in hurricane-resistant features to help protect against future storms:
      • Secure double entry doors at the top and bottom.
      • Strengthen garage doors to improve wind resistance, particularly double-wide garage doors.
      • Select trees that are not as subject to uprooting to replace any damaged ones. A gardening or landscaping professional can give you excellent advice.
      • If your home has been significantly damaged and will require rebuilding parts or all of it, consider building a safe room.
  • Ensure roof sheathing is properly installed.
  • Ensure end gables are securely fastened to the rest of the roof.
  • Fasten the roof to the walls with hurricane straps.
  • Elevate your home if it’s near the coast and subject to flooding from storm surge.
  • emergency app icon
    Download the FREE Emergency App

    Find our Emergency App in the Apple Store or Google Play

    Aplicación de Emergencias - ahora disponible en español también!

    Monster Guard App

    For kids aged 7-11. This app teaches preparedness for real-life emergencies at home with the help of Maya, Chad, Olivia and all the monsters.

    Donate Now to Disaster Relief

    Help people affected by disasters big and small.

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